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Quick Summer Dinner: Salumi, Formaggi, e Amarone #ItalianFWT

Here we are at the July edition of the Italian Food Wine & Travel group. This month, we're thinking, writing about, and pouring Italian Summer wines. 

Join my fellow wine bloggers as they share more Italian wines for you to indulge in this summer. Also, join us live on Twitter this Saturday July 1st at 11am EST at #ItalianFWT.  See you then! 

While summer time is much more relaxed in terms of schedules, days are longer and sometimes we'll head to the beach to walk and play before we go home and think about what to eat. I love summer evenings on the beach! I don't even mind when I end up on my rear in the water!!

But, if we stay and watch the sunset, I want a quick summer dinner when we walk through the door. And, more often than not, I'll throw together a meal of salumi, formaggi, and wash it all down with Italian wine.

Just a couple of notes...get creative when you make a cheese and charcuterie board. Mix textures. Think hard and soft cheeses, think soft, dried fruits and crunchy nuts. Play with colors. I like to see white cheeses, red meats, and green olives. About my post title...

It's not a misspelling of 'salami.' Salumi referes to Italian cold cuts and is roughly the same as what the French call chacuterie: cured or preserved meats. It's a broad category and can refer to meats that are salt-cured, smoked, fermented, preserved in fat (confit), or even ground into pastes. Salami is a kind of salumi in that it's a dry-cured, salted sausage. So salami is salumi, but not necessarily the other way around. I opted for a mixed pack from Trader Joe's that included a salami, prosciutto, and capacollo.

That's just cheese, plural. You can never have enough cheese, right? For the wines I prefer, I usually pair with mature, robust cheeses. For this pairing (I'll get to that in a moment), I went with Parmigiano Reggiano, Gorgonzola, and a spiced fresh Mozzarella.

I finished off the platters with marinated olives, roasted almonds, fresh apricots and raspberries, dried dates, and bread - both regular and gluten-free.

Amarone della Valpolicella is a rich, dry Italian red wine from the Veneto region. It's typically produced primarily from the Corvina grape and characterized by big, bold flavors. Despite its iconic status, Amarone only received DOCG recognition within this decade.

They say that you can safely forget an Amarone in your wine cellar as even average Amarones can be aged for 10-15 years. And, depending on the vintage and aging technique, these can even be held for up to three decades after bottling! The one I uncorked was 13 years old.

Now, most people think of Amarone as an Autumn or Winter wine. They are amazing with long-braised or slow-roasted meats and hearty stews. They are deep, rich, and warm. But because all Amarones work well with big-flavored cheeses, I have no qualms about uncorking them for a quick summer dinner of salumi and formaggi.

This one had such robust aromas and voluptuous flavors. I got ripe stone fruits as well as smoke, coffee, and the ever alluring hint of tobacco and earth. What a beautiful Amarone...and super easy dinner.

Looking Ahead...
Next month we'll be exploring the alpine regions of Italy with Jill at L'Occasion. Stay tuned.


  1. Especially in the summer months it's ok to go simple, but not by any means with these pairings. Yum!

  2. Perfect summer meal plan. And I love your photos!

  3. I can never (repeat: never) get enough of a great cheese or charcuterie plate. This is excellent and just right for summer. Love the images of great beach fun... lovely stuff!


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